Sellers have to earn the right to be seen as a credible. Today’s buyer is skeptical of big-promising / know-nothing sales people that just want 20 minutes on their calendar. To be seen as a peer we need to know our buyer as well as can be expected without having met her in person. My team achieves this by creating a PICT profile; People, Industry, Company, and Title to improve first call conversation.
People: The old cliché is that companies don’t buy, people do. We want to know our buyers on a personal level to gain insight into who they are, what motivates them, where have they been. Social sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter can give you added insight as to personal motivations and interests.
Sellers understand that modern B2B purchases rarely have just one buyer and seek to navigate choppy political waters to understand the buying committee. Account-based selling is based on this concept and having a good idea as to what role your buyer has on this committee as well as the other players is a great place to start.
Industry: Our buyers expect us to know macro-economic trends in their industry. We want to know how governmental regulation, foreign competition, energy costs, and technological advancements impact our buyers.
Every company is subjected to their industry trends and having an understanding of them brings instant credibility to your first call. Being able to articulate how your solution can positively impact those trends sparks an instant evaluation.
Company: I was taught at the Complex Sale that companies really only have 5 enterprise-wide issues they care about. Revenue is the byproduct of these issues.
- Competitive Differentiation
- Customer Acquisition and Retention
- Governmental Regulation
- Good Press
When we are researching a first call we want to be not only armed with this information about our prospect but how our solution could potentially impact any of these 5 areas. I tell my team that this is what separates tellers from sellers. Our buyers can get our product portfolio, financials, and customer case studies off of the web. Conversely, we can get the information we need to have a great first call from the web as well. As Jill Konrath tells it – “use the news” to find trigger events.
Title: Inherent in a value proposition is a keen understanding of the pains of the non-technical buyers and a linkage of our solution to solving those pains. Many organizations make the mistake of having one generic value proposition – when in fact the value proposition must be tailored to the individual with whom we are having the appointment. Marketing departments have been collecting buyer personas for their efforts and savvy sellers use these personas to craft a tailored message.
My company, RampedUp.io helps sellers build PICT profiles by consolidating buying committees, industry insights, triggering events, and buyer personas into one battlecard. We also help by adding customer use-cases to provide context to this material.